September 26, 2023

Nestle regenerative agriculture

17 Jul 2023 — Nestlé has invested in regenerative agricultural practices of US wheat farms (tomato) in the Digiorno supply chain to produce healthier, more sustainable ingredients for their pizzas.

As part of its roadmap to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, the company aims to source 20% of its key ingredients through regenerative agricultural methods by 2025 and 50% by 2030.

“We need to find solutions that create shared value throughout the ecosystem – value for us, for farmers, for our consumers and the planet. This investment in wheat producers is just one example of how we are bringing this commitment to life across our supply chain,” says Steve Presley, CEO at Nestlé Zone North America.

Over 100,000 acres of farmland will adopt regenerative practices such as water, energy and fertilizer efficiency. The surface area is double the size needed to grow the wheat for Digiorno pizza.

Wheat flour supplies
Through partnerships with ADM and Ardent Mills, two of Digiorno’s primary wheat flour suppliers, the regenerative agricultural initiative will be adopted across farms in Kansas, North Dakota, Indiana and Missouri. 

ADM recently measured some outcomes where regenerative agriculture has been implemented and found that more than half of the farms that used cover crops or living roots in 2022 sequestered approximately 3,800 metric tons of CO2.

“Our family introduced regenerative agriculture practices on our farm after noticing a decline in our yields and deterioration of the health of our soil. These methods have been good for our land and the environment, but we’ve also seen a financial benefit as we spend less on inputs like synthetic chemicals,” says Scott Stroberg of Stroberg Farm in Hutchinson, Kansas.Pizza doughNestlé will source 20% of its key ingredients through regenerative agricultural methods by 2025.

Stroberg has been growing wheat for ADM for a decade. They have replaced synthetic fertilizers with natural alternatives within the regenerative practice and are now introducing cover crops.

Expanding regenerative initiatives
Nestlé is also working across its tomato supply chain in the US to support verifying regenerative agriculture practices.

“Many tomato farmers in our supply chain have already been doing the work to implement regenerative farming practices in their fields and they’ve made great progress so far,” says Emily Johannes, head of diverse and sustainable sourcing at Nestlé USA.

“We are now working to verify these efforts throughout the supply chain effectively and efficiently for our brands and the farmers. Third-party verification is critical to this work because it helps us and others remain accountable.”
Pizza slicesRegenerative agricultural practices will be adopted across farms in the US.

Earlier this year, Nestlé, Cargill, and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation launched a major private-sector regenerative ranching project supporting ranchers to adopt voluntary conservation practices.

In addition, Nestlé works with pumpkin farmers across central Illinois who supply Libby’s to measure the outcomes of farmers utilizing regenerative agriculture practices. It supports these practices on farms that make ingredients for brands including Carnation, Carnation Breakfast Essentials and Purina.

Green playing field
Business and land cultivation experts, including farmers, are rapidly mobilizing to weed out practices that are not sustainable.   

For example, General Mills launched new initiatives to support regenerative agriculture across key California and the Northern Great Plains regions. The strategy will help secure supply for its organic brands and advance the goal of “one million acres of regenerative agriculture farmland by 2030.” 

Mondelēz International is expanding Harmony, its wheat sustainability program. The new stage, Harmony 2030, will embed regenerative agriculture across several of the company’s key categories, specifically environment, farmers and consumers. 

Meanwhile, the Sustainable Herbs Program and botanical producers have called for more regenerative medicinal plant farming to build soil health and resilient farming communities. 

By Inga de Jong

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